TWO WEEKS ago, I received the following text message from Jonathan V, an architect by profession who was a former student of mine and a clairvoyant.
“On two separate occasions last week,” he says, “I was seen by my friends in a place I have not been to. They were sure that it was me they saw. But they said I did not mind them.
“Can this really happen? Is this what people call a doppelgänger?”
The phenomenon of being seen in two places at the same time is called “bilocation.” Although not an ordinary or common event, it is not really a rare phenomenon. A good number of people have reported the same thing happening to them and the psychic or paranormal literature contains many documented cases of people being seen in two places at the same time.
Bilocation is not really impossible because a human being is actually composed of several layers or sheaths much like an onion. But in the case of humans, such layers are in fact different frequencies. According to esoteric eastern philosophy, there are seven such sheaths or bodies in human beings. The nearest to the physical is the “etheric double,” sometimes called the astral body. The astral body usually detaches itself and travels when a person is asleep or when he is tired and resting peacefully. Most of the time the person is not aware that his astral body goes elsewhere. Sometimes this “double” appears to or is seen by other people far from where that person is physically. That’s when we say he has “bilocated.”
In bilocation it is important to realize that one is not physically present in both places. One’s physical body may be in one place but his astral body may be somewhere else. This can happen to any ordinary person and is not usually done intentionally.
In modern times, the phenomenon of bilocation is commonly associated with the Italian Capuchin stigmatist saint, Padre Pio of San Giovanni Rotondo. His appearances in various countries have been attested to by numerous credible eye witnesses. They either saw him or smelled the odors associated with him, such as the scent of roses, although he never used fragrances.
According to one story on the internet, “Among the most remarkable cases of bilocation was the Padre’s appearance in the air over San Giovanni Rotondo during World War II. While Southern Italy remained in Nazi hands, American bombers were given the job of attacking the city of San Giovanni Rotondo.
“However, when they appeared over the city and prepared to unload their munitions, a brown-robed friar appeared before their aircraft. All attempts to release bombs failed. Padre Pio kept his promise to the citizens that their town would be spared.
“Later on, when an American air base was established at Foggia a few miles away, one of the pilots of this incident visited the friary and found to his surprise the little friar he had seen in the air that day over San Giovanni was Padre Pio.”
The above story is somewhat different from an earlier one I read in a book about Padre Pio. In that earlier version, the American pilot’s plane was hit by enemy bullets and was plunging down to earth when a monk suddenly appeared in front of the plane, held its nose and guided it safely down on earth. When the pilot visited the monastery of the Capuchin monks he recognized the flying, brown-robed monk who saved him was Padre Pio. But Padre Pio never left the monastery that day.
The astral body (or etheric double) is sometimes known as the “desire body.” It goes where a person unconsciously wants to be. And this is sometimes the reason why a person may be seen in a place where he has not been to but may have unconsciously wished to be there.
A doppelgänger is one’s double, an exact copy of himself which appears sometimes in the same room or place where he is. The word comes from two German words meaning “double walker.” The appearance of a doppelgänger creates fear in some people because of the belief (which is not true) that the appearance of one’s double means danger or that the person will soon die. There is no basis for this belief. And one should not worry when this happens to him.